8 ways to make Amazon’s Alexa even more awesome

I’ve been using an Amazon Echo for a while now, yet I still find myself amazed at how well its voice assistant technology works—at least within the relatively narrow confines it has set for itself. By sticking to what she can do well, Alexa mostly avoids the common trap of heavily hyped new technology delivering a disappointing experience in real life. 

That said, though, Alexa’s limitations sometimes seem arbitrary and frustrating. And the system’s obvious competence in its core areas only whets my appetite for more. So here are eight suggestions for Amazon’s Alexa team, ranging from the seemingly simple to the obviously ambitious, on how to make its voice assistant even more awesome: 

1. Let Alexa run on iPhone and Android devices

This feature is apparently coming to some Android devices, but it remains to be seen how powerful and intuitive it will be. And though Alexa already works on some Amazon Fire devices, the ultimate goal is to turn Alexa into an app anyone can download to any device powerful enough to run it 

2. Expand Alexa’s connections

Alexa pulls in a fair amount of content right out of the box, and Amazon has been aggressive about letting you connect even more things, notably home automation devices. But actually getting stuff out of that Amazon Echo in your kitchen can be much more difficult. Yes, you can export Alexa content to Amazon Fire devices, but Alexa needs to offer easy connections to all kinds of mobile devices, from iPhones to Android tablets. After all, what good is a shopping list if I can’t easily access it when I am at the store? (Yes, you can see lists on the Alexa app, but I don’t have that app on all my devices.)

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